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Date: 15/02/2011

Families visiting Europe urged to have EHIC cards

With half term just around the corner and the Easter holidays approaching soon after, families travelling to Europe should make sure they have an up-to-date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

The EHIC allows holders to access state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or even free of charge.

However, depending on the treatment, if you have had to pay for it you might be able to claim for reimbursement upon your return to the UK.

Lasting for five years, the card is free to apply for and free to renew.

Holders of the EHIC should be aware that while the card entitles you to medical care that becomes necessary during a trip, you cannot use it to go overseas with the specific aim of receiving medical care.

Nor should the EHIC be considered as an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or cover the cost of things like mountain rescue in ski resorts or repatriation.

For this you need to come to an expert such as for comprehensive and effective cover.